The Axeman Cometh (American Horror Story)
|"The Axeman Cometh"|
|American Horror Story episode|
|Directed by||Michael Uppendahl|
|Written by||Douglas Petrie|
|Original air date||November 13, 2013|
|Running time||42 minutes|
"The Axeman Cometh" is the sixth episode of the third season of the anthology television series American Horror Story, which premiered on November 13, 2013, on the cable network FX. This episode is rated TV-MA (LSV).
This episode focuses on the girls awakening the spirit of a long-dead serial killer, The Axeman (Danny Huston). Danny Huston guest stars as the Axeman. Angela Bassett and Gabourey Sidibe guest star as Marie Laveau and Queenie, respectively.
The Axeman of New Orleans (Danny Huston) writes out a letter, which is printed in the news read in Miss Robichaux's Academy. The witches debate whether to play jazz music, which the manifesto claims will spare them from murder. A bold witch, Millie (Grace Gummer) exclaims that they will not be taken. Later, she leads the Axeman from a bar to the Coven. He prowls the house quietly, stopping the recording in a room where the witch reads Tarot. Witches then emerge from corners of the room to stab him to death.
Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) rummages through Madison's (Emma Roberts) items, and a bottle rolls to reveal a hidden compartment in the closet. Inside, among other things, are pictures of the declining numbers of witches and a ouija board. They make a pact to watch each other's backs. Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) provides a cautionary tale before the three young witches use the board to contact a spirit who reveals itself to be the Axeman. He blames them for his murder. The witches research the Axeman on the Internet and discover the diaries of the 1919 witches. Zoe wants to revive his contact to get answers on Madison, but Queenie and Nan will have none of it. Zoe continues alone, and the Axeman directs her to the attic via the board. Zoe investigates and finds Spalding's (Denis O'Hare) dolls, and Madison along with them. Zoe is discovered by Spalding, and he silences her scream. The girls interrogate and torture Spalding, with Nan to read his responses. He lies, claiming that he killed her to feed his necrophiliac appetites. He challenges them to contact the authorities and expose the Coven. Queenie responds by using her voodoo doll powers to inflict painful torture and he falls into unconsciousness. Zoe does not believe Spalding killed Madison.
Fiona (Jessica Lange) is receiving chemotherapy when she unexpectedly starts reading minds of those around her, an ability she never had before. Unnerved, she removes her IV line and tries to leave, but the doctor (Andrew Leeds) convinces her to resume her treatment. She prepares Cordelia's (Sarah Paulson) room when her daughter enters with Hank (Josh Hamilton). She is unhappy with the significance of Fiona's flower selection. Cordelia brushes against Hank and it leads to another vision of Hank's infidelity. Cordelia confronts him about it, but he stammers. She drives him away. A touch from Fiona shows a vision of Myrtle's execution. Cordelia is aghast that Fiona didn't tell her. Fiona leaves her daughter to her grief.
Misty (Lily Rabe) waters her garden in the swamp, including Myrtle's body (Frances Conroy) gestating in the mud. Kyle (Evan Peters) arrives, and she bathes him. He recoils when she tries to clean his intimate parts. Reliving his mother's abuse, he thrashes around, violently wrecking Misty's possessions. When he smashes her radio, Misty has had enough. Zoe arrives and says she is taking them both out of there. Zoe tethers Kyle to the wall in Cordelia's greenhouse, while she urges Misty to do what she can for Madison. Reluctantly, Misty agrees, initially assuming that Madison is too far gone. With the power of both witches, Madison is restored, expelling parasites.
Hank shows up at Cornrow City, and Marie (Angela Bassett) is not surprised to see him. He heads inside, telling her that they have a problem. Marie has hired Hank (a witch hunter), who has been undercover for 6 years. He has been killing the witches over the years. Kaylee (Alexandra Breckenridge) was one of them, whose past as a Pyrokinetic (who responded to her boyfriend's refusal to marry her by immolating him) is shown in flashback. Marie thinks that Hank has gone soft and is upset at the witches' recent actions. Marie demands that Hank bring her all the heads of the witches as soon as possible and to burn the school down, or she will kill him.
The girls swear secrecy about Madison's return and Kyle. They want Misty to stay, but Misty detects bad vibes and wants to leave. Cordelia locates her pills and detects the Axeman's spirit at the foot of her bed. He remarks that he was killed in her room. Madison's recovery is slow. She chokes on some ginger ale, while the other girls question her. All Madison remembers is "red" and darkness. The Axeman wants release and says that Zoe reneged on her deal, leaving him in between worlds. He chases Cordelia around the room, chopping up furniture and threatening her. The girls hear her cries but are unable to get to her. Zoe, using her power of Divination, locates the incantation she needs and chants it. Unbeknownst to them, this has given the Axeman enough substance to re-form and he walks out of the Academy whistling to the beat of a new world. He finds Fiona in a bar and offers to buy her a drink.
Rotten Tomatoes reports a 93% approval rating, based on 14 reviews. The critical consensus reads, ""The Axeman Cometh" drops the exciting new Axeman character and his interesting mythology into the mix, taking the focus away from the main storyline with insanely fun results." Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C rating, and wrote, "I realized that I don't give a good goddamn about anything that happens to anybody this season." Matt Fowler of IGN wrote, "[The episode], much like the first half of the Halloween two-parter, was incomplete. Hank's been ordered by Laveau to kill everyone at Robichaux's, Spalding's been caught red-handed as a necropheliac (nice Rocky Horror Riff Raff reference there too!), and the Axeman has his sights set on Fiona. All threads to be picked up next week. A diversionary episode, but a fun one too."
"The Axeman Cometh" received a 2.3 18–49 ratings share, up from the previous episode, and was watched by 4.16 million viewers in its original American broadcast.
- "The Axeman Cometh – American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 6". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (November 13, 2014). "American Horror Story: "The Axeman Cometh"". The A.V. Club.
- Fowler, Matt (November 13, 2014). "American Horror Story: Coven – "The Axeman Cometh" Review". IGN.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (November 14, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'American Horror Story' Wins Night, 'South Park', 'Key & Peele','Extreme Cheapskates' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
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